The New York State Health Department is treating one case as the “tip of the iceberg” after finding the virus in two counties
After identifying the virus from wastewater samples taken in two counties, New York State Health Authorities claimed that hundreds of Americans could be affected by the poliovirus.
According to State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, as earlier polio outbreaks have shown, “New Yorkers must be aware that paralytic Polio can infect hundreds more people than one person..”
“The Department considers the one case of Polio, together with its latest findings on wastewater, to be just the tip of an iceberg that has the potential for much more spread. We are learning more about the risks of Polio in New York.,” Bassett added.
According to the New York State Department of Health, the polio samples came from two locations in Orange County, in June, and one in Rockland County, in July.
Late July saw the identification by New York Health officials of the first case of polio in almost a decade. An unnamed victim, a 20-year-old Rockland County man, was found to have contracted the vaccine-derived virus. He began experiencing paralysis and weakness.
The authorities noted that the available evidence does not indicate that the man was the source of the transmission, adding that the “The origin of this virus remains under investigation.” They also said they were working to roll out prevention measures, particularly in vaccination clinics, adding that “The best method to prevent polio in New York is to ensure that everyone has high levels of immunity through vaccination.”
A new potential crisis could be looming that follows the Covid-19 pandemic or the Monkeypox epidemic. The Health Department encouraged all those who are not currently vaccinated immediately. According to the Health Department, those who reside, work, study, visit, or live in Rockland County, Orange County, the Greater New York Metropolitan Area, are most at risk.
In 1979, the United States declared polio eliminated and has not received any reports of polio cases in its country. In the last 40 years, there have not been any new cases of polio in the United States.
The health authorities stated that although polio cannot be stopped, they can prevent it from happening. One-third of children receive the recommended doses. Around 93% of Americans get at least three doses before they turn two.
Poliomyelitis or polio is life-threatening, highly contagious, and can also be passed to others by people who don’t have symptoms. The worst case can result in paralysis and brain damage.
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